Labour sticks to the high road

Written By: - Date published: 8:44 am, December 3rd, 2016 - 128 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, labour, leadership, Media - Tags: , , , ,

Notice a lot of opinion pieces (etc) putting the boot in to Labour lately?

Duncan Garner’s effort yesterday was a confused mess. Apparently it is a bad thing that the caucus is unified and there is no leadership challenge. Anyway, the piece has been discussed here already, so enough of that. (Thought for a post: After a year on TV3 Garner’s Story has lost the ‘everyman’. Nah.)

Today brings us Tracy Watkins, an effort which is if anything even worse:

So much for the wave of almost giddy optimism that has swept the Left in the wake of Brexit, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

I must have missed that wave. Too busy weeping into my beer.

But two polls this week tell a different story.

Really? You think that’s how it works? Wow.

At a fractious front bench meeting on Monday, Little shouldered responsibility as leader for Labour’s polling slump.

There was lots of finger pointing. But there was also a sense of urgency about breaking the cycle. There was talk about taking risks. Even “breaking the rules” as one insider put it.

Good – a sense of urgency is required!

The nature of those rules was not spelt out. But we can guess. Dirty politics, personal attacks, fabricating news and other “facts” – those were the story of the US election campaign. And it worked.

But the suggestion is that Labour MPs balked at going down that road.

If that was even considered (“we can guess”?) – then of course it was ruled out. While Nat supporters seem to be comfortable voting for dirty politics, Labour supporters would not be, it would destroy the party. And if that’s what it takes to win right now then I for one would rather lose, and wait. Because although it may work in the short term, the backlash against the conditions created by the sorts of people who use such tactics is going to be rather ugly. (Let’s talk about how successful Trump is in 4 years time.)

Other risks will be taken, however.

Good.

Finding issues that connect with voters is Labour’s bigger problem. It has run hard on issues that should be resonating – housing, inequality, transport infrastructure, wages, and the future of work. They are not sticking.

Quite. And therein lies an interesting puzzle. I wonder if the dumbing down of the media and the constant barrage of negativity has anything to do with it? “Mike’s minute” rules, Campbell live is axed. Just a thought.

Anyway, while it is certainly time to try and break the political mould, good on Labour for sticking to the high road while doing so.


I’ll leave you with a couple of interesting tweets to ponder…

128 comments on “Labour sticks to the high road”

  1. Ffloyd 1

    Now Soper gently stirring the pot in Herald. Lovely photo of super smiley Key. Doesn’t he have little hands? Just like Donald Trump.

  2. Jenny Kirk 2

    Yes – I’ve noticed the increase in the trolling stories from the Nat-sycophantic opinion writers – and that’s all they are, just their own personal opinion. No real facts to back themselves up with.

    And the other thing I’ve noticed is the increase in rightwing trolls coming onto The Standard.

    All of this shows that behind-the-scenes, the Nats are really worried about what Labour is doing.

    • Anne 2.1

      Exactly my thoughts too. It became noticeable during the byelection campaign and reached a peak this week. There was the arrival of the nasties (you can pick em by their pseudo names before even reading them) here on TS this past week. It’s no coincidence. Somewhere in the undergrowth the dirty political team are lurking and churning out the smears and dirty tricks.

      We can expect lots more of it next year and the sycophantic journo opinion creators will be like wild pack dogs … following behind the lead dog yapping and snarling mindlessly to the tune of the John Key and Steven Joyce beat.

      • Jenny Kirk 2.1.1

        +100% Anne

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        +1

        Probably won’t be run out of John Key’s Beehive office this year though as he got too close to being caught last time.

      • mosa 2.1.3

        Sadly Jenny and Anne all the signs are there.

        This nasty political arm of the National party and the money will be hard to fight and the most dangerous weapon is the media which is still on side after eight years.

        This is almost a one party state.

        How do you fight that ?

        People on this site say its Little and his lack of charisma but Bolger was as exciting as a porta loo on a hot day and won three elections.

    • Ben 2.2

      Do you seriously believe that National is influencing opinion writers, and has somehow mobilised a bunch of “rightwing trolls” to show up on TS?

      What is it exactly that Labour is doing? Every policy announcement is a flop, ill-conceived or quickly undermined by one of their own. The only thing National will be worried about is Little being replaced as leader.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Every policy announcement is a flop, ill-conceived or quickly undermined by one of their own.

        Actually, they’re not. They’re well defined and costed. This is far more than can be said of anything that comes out of National.

        The problem is that the MSM always attacks Labour and Left policy while giving National’s a green light no matter how bad it is.

        • Ben 2.2.1.1

          “Actually, they’re not. They’re well defined and costed.”

          Or this:

          Future of Work: A flop. Ask the bloke on the street what it means for the future of work, and odds are they will not have a clue what you talking about.

          Local workers: Impose a tax on employers who rely on workers from overseas instead of training local workers. Seen as dog-whistle politics (like the Chinese sounding names shambles). Not at all well-recieved by NZ business who stated Labour was out of touch with the market.

          Light rail in Auckland: Just in time for the Mt Roskill by-election and therefore seen for what it was.

          Youth Unemployment policy: Costed on 4 months not 6. A debacle that had people talking about the costing rather than the merits of the policy.

          TPP: yes, no, maybe – could you repeat the question?

          etc etc

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.1.1.1

            You and DTB are talking about different things.

            Labour largely have very sensible policies, even if they don’t move the political equilibrium very much. They’re practical and well-costed.

            But yes, those policies aren’t yet translating into resonance with the electorate. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad policies, it’s likely that a lot of them just haven’t been effectively marketed.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.2

            Local workers: Impose a tax on employers who rely on workers from overseas instead of training local workers. Seen as dog-whistle politics

            No, it wasn’t seen as ‘dog whistle’ politics. It was seen, as it should be, as putting the cost of training onto those who try to avoid it and thus bludging off of every employer who do training.

            Not at all well-recieved by NZ business who stated Labour was out of touch with the market.

            Well, I suspect that it wasn’t well received by those businesses who are doing the bludging.

            Light rail in Auckland: Just in time for the Mt Roskill by-election and therefore seen for what it was.

            Really? Have you noticed that Labour have been pushing rail in Auckland for at least a decade now?

            Youth Unemployment policy: Costed on 4 months not 6. A debacle that had people talking about the costing rather than the merits of the policy.

            No, it wasn’t a debacle. It was costed upon a reasonable assumption – one that the MSM reporter who had been told about it then refused to report.

            here’s the thing: All costings contain assumptions because you can’t know exactly how it’s going to come down.

            TPP: yes, no, maybe – could you repeat the question?

            That’s a valid complaint and they’re still fart-arsing around with it.

          • Leftie 2.2.1.1.3

            TPP: No, have you signed Labour’s Say No to the TPPA petition, yet?

            <a href="http://www.labour.org.nz/tppa_petition

      • rob 2.2.2

        Yes I f…g do

    • rob 2.3

      Been noticed here aswel and I have commented on stuff to Tracy, Kirk an co and never seems to be published.
      not abusing them but explaining how one eyed they are to me.
      But some of their articles just make me as mad as hell,and they want a merger to controll most common media! things need to change or I can see a nasty movement coming soon. just a feeling something brewing.

    • Rob 2.4

      Yes they are becoming more visible
      I wonder if Tracey W et al get free Nat membership!
      It would be good as a punter for them to critically analyse the Nats inertia that is now forming society.
      I guess we will look back on This period as an opportunity lost.

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 2.5

      They’re cunning aren’t they? They’ve even got Labour down to 23% in the polls…

      Though can the polls really be trusted?

      Obviously the lower in the polls Labour goes the more worried National gets. Why is this? Something really sinister is going on here.

  3. The lost sheep 3

    It’s so simple.
    To beat National Labour needs a leader to trump brand Key.
    2 years has been ample time to prove Little ain’t the ONE.

    Jacinda is the obvious next shot, but is smart enough not to go in now and take a beating that will cripple her long term prospects.
    There is no else who is even remotely suitable.

    So the option now is limited to sticking to Little through to next election while working hard in building brand Adern.
    In the medium term Labour must exert every available resource to the task of identifying one or more personalities of genuine charisma that can be brought through to leadership level.

    And from Left Field? Form a MU with NZF and promise Winnie the PM role in coalition. I reckon that would give Labour a 50/50 chance of being in the next Govt.

    • BM 3.1

      To beat National Labour needs a leader to trump brand Key.
      2 years has been ample time to prove Little ain’t the ONE.

      Whoever it is they don’t have to trump John Key, they just have to be personable, have a bit of a laugh and not take themselves too seriously.

      These are very important traits people like to see in their politicians Key has it, Winston has it, Little doesn’t have it.

      You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, but you do have to be relatable.

    • Incognito 3.2

      Nah, it’s not like that at all!

      Brand Key is stale and well past its best-by-date as are National’s failed ‘ideology’ and ‘policies’.

      Labour needs to control its narrative and framing of its own policies and keep at it with vigilance and resilience.

      Labour also needs to try and inspire more without resorting to becoming ‘populist’ like Key and Winston Peters, for example.

      • The lost sheep 3.2.1

        You forgot to add the ‘sarc’ incognito?

        • Incognito 3.2.1.1

          Why ask me if you know the answer?

          • The lost sheep 3.2.1.1.1

            Apologies. Some commenters are so genuinely delusional here it’s often difficult to separate their ravings from a straight up piss take. Nice one.

      • Peter 3.2.2

        Quite agree. Labour should stick to an agreed script, these are our 3 main directions (what ever the decide) and when ever they comment or are interviewed, that’s what they talk about. The message needs to be clear and succinct, and it must, must appeal to the million or so non-voters. At the moment National keeps coming out as the winner, yes main stream media are rediculously biased, but thats just the way it is, Labour has to learn to break through the bias, and get their voice heard.

        • garibaldi 3.2.2.1

          How the hell is Labour going to “break through” the media bias? The media are owned by right wingers, so you can’t just break through them. I keep harping on about it , but this is the Lefts’ biggest problem. The only other contributor here that seems to agree with me is In Vino. Everyone else seems to think the media are neutral. Like hell they are!

        • Jenny Kirk 3.2.2.2

          Actually, Peter – Labour has done just what you suggested – there is a script – its called a Vision – and its brief and limited to six main points – and Labour MPs keep repeating it – but the media are still not picking up on it. Oddly enough Mr Key keeps repeating himself, and the media pick up on that ! So it can’t be the repetitive aspect that’s not getting thru ….. maybe its the media’s fault !

          Here are the six main points – and yes, pretty basic stuff.

          • We’ll build thousands of affordable homes and crack down on foreign speculators.
          • We’ll back our businesses to build a stronger economy – one that delivers decent work and higher wages.
          • We’ll invest in our regions, so there are jobs and opportunities.
          • We’ll care for the environment so we can all enjoy it, now – and in the future.
          • We’ll fix the health system by turning National’s years of underfunding around.
          • We’ll rebuild world-class schools to help every Kiwi kid dream big and succeed

      • BM 3.2.3

        Politics is a popularity contest first and foremost, any leader who doesn’t realize that shouldn’t be the leader.

        • Incognito 3.2.3.1

          Popularity of what exactly? Of the leader, candidates & MPs, policies? What does popularity even mean to you? Does it mean saying the exact thing that people want to hear – and then doing different things – or is it developing good policy and selling this well to the people so that they’ll start to understand & like it and (then) want to hear it? How shallow do you think people are, by the way?

          • BM 3.2.3.1.1

            A fair chunk of people hate politics and politicians they only think about them grudgingly for a couple of weeks every three years.

            They don’t really have a lot of idea or care about policy so people fall back on what they’ like as a person.

            This is what makes elections a popularity contest and why it’s so important for candidates to demonstrate their everyman/women persona and show that they’re personable. eg: have a laugh, play an instrument etc.

            • garibaldi 3.2.3.1.1.1

              Good god, I actually totally agree with you for once BM…. your first paragraph says it all.

            • Corokia 3.2.3.1.1.2

              Metiria fits the bill there BM.

            • Incognito 3.2.3.1.1.3

              A fair chunk of people hate politics and politicians they only think about them grudgingly for a couple of weeks every three years.

              I don’t know whether this is true or whether it is your projection. In any case, it depicts an infantile attitude; politics is everywhere, not just in the Beehive, Parliament or Town Hall, for example.

              They don’t really have a lot of idea or care about policy so people fall back on what they’ like as a person.

              You seem to have missed my comment about developing good policy and selling it so that they get to like it and care about. Is this asking too much, you think? So, do you think that people are shallow?

              This is what makes elections a popularity contest and why it’s so important for candidates to demonstrate their everyman/women persona and show that they’re personable. eg: have a laugh, play an instrument etc.

              I am not too sure what you’re getting at. Politicians are people, they are human, and I prefer them to be genuine, to be themselves. That’s all am asking; I don’t want a stand-up comedian, or a pop (rock) star, and I don’t give a toss about looks or appearances. I don’t need to be dazzled by their personality, blown away by their awesome aura, or blinded by their halo. That said, an inspiring message delivered in an inspiring way has an easier trajectory than a dull one delivered by a droid. Still, it is never about style over substance and it shouldn’t be.

      • Labour can absolutely run a populist campaign, it just needs to do populism without racism.

        • mosa 3.2.4.1

          Labour can run a populist campaign ?

          They better get on with it , and fast.

        • Incognito 3.2.4.2

          Sure, and it already does. However, populist means different things to different people. I like to see a campaign that is not just shallow and cynical appeal to the masses but one that is founded on integrity, authenticity, trust, honesty, to name just a few, and good policy.

          Indeed, the messages have to appeal and resonate with the voters and the candidates have to inspire as well but there are many ways to achieve this; it comes down to the underlying values and ethics dare I say it.

          Campaigning for all New Zealanders with a genuine intention to improve things can be called “populist”; campaigning with empty promises for a brighter future is also “populist”. So, what’s the difference? I think it is important to differentiate and this is what Labour should do too IMHO.

          • garibaldi 3.2.4.2.1

            Well that’s all and good incognito, but just the words “tax cuts” will overide everything you have just said to the people BM was referring to earlier… ie the majority who don’t “do” politics.

            • Incognito 3.2.4.2.1.1

              Sorry, but I give “the majority” a little more credit.

              Just shouting “tax cuts” is neither policy nor politics; it is cynical (or desperate?) vying for voters for the sake of staying in power.

              There are more important issues than a few dollars in the hand each week such as house prices and affordability and associated rents, suitable jobs that pay enough to get ahead and that offer prospects rather than being a dead-end soul-destroying walk to the gallows to pay the ever-rising bills.

              People most certainly “do” and understand politics when you cut through the confusing lingo. This is where Labour could do better and even shine IMO.

              To give you an analogy: Labour comes across like a very well-meaning great-aunty, and you know she’s right, but you wouldn’t choose to go on holiday with her for a week, would you? I must confess that I have greatly enjoyed trips & travels with my aunt and Travels with my Aunt is a book I’d like to re-read.

              Anyway, I hope you get my point about Labour. Helen Clark’s so-called “nanny state” was quite similar but people don’t take it well when they get told what’s good for them and/or for others; they (re-)act like children.

      • infused 3.2.5

        49% say otherwise.

        • In Vino 3.2.5.1

          Are they the ones who are above or below average?

        • Incognito 3.2.5.2

          Really? Do you mean Nick Leggett who said “Even after eight years as prime minister, John Key’s leadership still feels fresh”? To me John Key’s ‘reign’ feels more like a cloth nappy that has long lost its ‘whiteness’, if you know what I mean?

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The stories have come thick and fast, it is almost as if the government has the ear of the owners of our corporate media and their shills are trying to bad mouth and destabilise Labour ahead of a certain political event today.

    Audrey Young in today’s Herald:

    “…It is an unsettling time for MPs, especially for Opposition parties.

    They are competing among themselves for a voice as well as against a powerful government machine…”

    Of which Audrey is a 100% totally owned part, yet she can write that sort of claptrap without even a hint of self-reflection.

    What we have in NZ is a neoliberal one party state mentality in the establishment media and it’s legion of parasites, shills, apologists, managerialist and journalist hangers on. There is no alternative to neoliberalism. The corporate media won’t report on it let alone criticise it (Kim Hill’s interview this week with the shrill and emotionally retarded Anne Tolley threw into stark relief exactly how anodyne our MSM is) and public intellectual life has been more or less completely snuffed out in favour of permanent amnesia, knee jerk appeals to emotion and fake news.

    The liberal left has completely run out of steam, if it ever had any.

    Russell Brown spends his time shilling e-bikes and pining for his youth by making documentaries about drugs and being the oldest guy at every gig.

    TheSpinoff looked promising, but it has been revealed as a pay to publish bunch of younger white middle class neolibs being pissed off they can’t get their snouts in the trough because all the older neolibs got their snouts in first.

    The Greens have a managerialist Blue-Green leader who says nothing because he plans to fool his supporters by selling out as soon as he has a sniff of a ministerial portfolio.

    NZ First is about the only party left which still talks about issues that actually concern New Zealanders, like immigration and foreign ownership. Are they poised to replace Labour in the provinces as the main opposition party?

    And what of the Labour party? Intellectually becalmed in the 1990s and saddled by its disastrous candidate selection process with a lazy caucus full of self-loathing but entitled middle class social climbers who see any sort of talent mainly as threat of their mediocrity, it is drifting slowly around the plug hole, knowing the speed of the spin downwards is slowly picking up but hoping that somehow something will magically put the plug back in before they vanish down the hole.

    We desperately need a vehicle for left wing popular radicalism.

    • Michael 4.1

      Nah they don’t, the labour party are doing fine, it’s the rip of rightie trolls and neo liberal media patsies who have nothing but fact less bullshit to offer up, in the hope it will undermine the labour party. Sowing the seed of doubt is what these idiots are good at. Remember dirty politics!

      • Olwyn 4.1.1

        Surely a robust and committed vehicle for popular radicalism would help to counter these seeds of doubt you are talking about.

        • Carolyn_nth 4.1.1.1

          Isn’t this what Esra is aiming to contribute towards?

          ESRA Thinking about political organisation

          • Olwyn 4.1.1.1.1

            Yes. It is early days yet but that seems to be the plan.

            • Jenny Kirk 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting – These are just the very same topics discussed at the recent Labour Party conference .
              Sue Bradford and Margaret Mutu never give Labour any credit for this sort of thinking ….. (and neither do the media) but it is this fascinating stuff behind the scenes which Labour does, which eventually provide the progressive policies this country needs.

              • Well if that sort of thinking never makes it to Parliament I think it’s relatively fair not to give Labour any bloody credit. It’s not of any particular use having good ideas at the grass-roots level but ignoring them before they filter all the way up. Nobody’s ever said the problem with Labour is that the actual members have their hearts in the wrong place. 🙂

                • Jenny Kirk

                  Ah – but that’s where you’re wrong Matthew Whitehead, which if you are a troll as I think you are, you probably know full well that Labour IS going to take this sort of thinking into Parliament – and out to the people during the election campaign : that’s why the Nats are running scared and all you trolls are out here, dissing Labour as much as you can beforehand.

                  • I’m not a troll. 🙂 I’m disillusioned with Labour’s losses costing New Zealand a chance to get a bunch of MPs that actually believe in left-wing policy, like the Greens, into government. 😉

                    I want Labour to reconnect with its values, burn the dead wood in its caucus, and finally start the rejuvenation that it’s been putting off for the last 10-15 years. I want it to bring its smart thinkers and good speakers from its conferences into Parliament, and I want it to put its best talent on the front bench, rather than the ones that win the current round of in-fighting. I would be perfectly happy to see a successful Labour Party, because it would mean a change in direction for NZ.

                    • Jenny Kirk

                      Okay then – maybe you’ll just have to be patient a little longer, Matthew Whitehead.
                      Andrew Little said he’d do three things – the first year was to sort out the Caucus, the second year to sort out policy, and the third was to campaign. He’s not yet at the end of his second year. So the third still has to come.

                    • I don’t particularly mind Little, I find him boring and uninspiring most of the time, but when he gets his anger on he’s actually a good speaker. He’s a good second-choice to Cunliffe IMO, which makes him the most practical option for leader.

                      As for his three-year strategy, I’d suggest he go back to his first-year goal and start with giving a “jump or you’re being pushed” ultimatum regarding the 2017 electorate endorsements and party list to at least Mallard and Curran before he moves onto campaigning and thinks he’s done working out policies. 😉 Labour needs to realise that winning an electorate isn’t all it takes to be a good MP- if that were the case, Chester Borrows might arguably deserve to be deputy speaker, and I think anyone who isn’t one of the National Party faithful can agree he’s not particularly inspiring. Mallard might be the best current candidate for Speaker among the Labour caucus, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a reason to keep him around when he’s clearly a drag on the party vote. Also, Little needs to have someone shadowing King on each of her responsibilities so she can be retired in 2020, as she’s not gaining in appeal as her career stretches on.

                      I know there’s room for Labour to get onside with Greenies like me and win the campaign in 2017, it’s just a matter of whether they can project the coherent idealogy that the members already have in their campaign, because Caucus is constantly looking more concerned with retaining their own electorates than with actually growing the Party Vote.

          • Sanctuary 4.1.1.1.2

            “…Isn’t this what Esra is aiming to contribute towards..?”

            when the first item on the agenda is “Dismantling the colonial state” then all I see is yet another group of identity politics radicals preaching to the same echo chamber.

            Momentum’s first principle is:

            “…Redistributes wealth and power from the few to the many…”

            i.e -talk about jobs, pay, and the resditribution of wealth. You know, the bread and butter issues of the left.

            • Carolyn_nth 4.1.1.1.2.1

              I don’t think the order of speakers is indicative of the priorities of ESRA.

              They claim as their main aim to oppose and provide alternatives to neoliberal capitalism – currently they are in the same building as Auckland Action Action against poverty. Their kaupapa has a focus of working towards “social, economic and ecological justice” – I see these 3 strands as being strongly interwoven: poverty in NZ is very brown – Though the ESRA name begins with E(conomic):

              ESRA About

              Research projects depend on who volunteers and for what.

              ESRA Research Projects

      • Michael is correct. He’s alert to the mechanics of the disheartening that trolls here and media there, are busy with. Michael calls it bullshit, and while it surely is, it’s more nuanced and practiced than that. The constant undermining of confidence is designed to dishearten. Ya gotta be upbeat to counter that!

    • Grey Area 4.2

      “Of which Audrey is a 100% totally owned part, yet she can write that sort of claptrap without even a hint of self-reflection.”

      Yep, but equally maybe she knows exactly what’s she’s doing but doesn’t care.

    • Shaw isn’t a blue-Green, he’s just more about being green than he is about being a radical lefty, which isn’t an unreasonable position for a Green. Remember, Turei is also leader, and she’s a former anarchist. Just because she’s not as unapologetically radical left as Sue B was doesn’t mean the Greens have gone centrist suddenly, especially not with voices like Marama Davidson in their caucus, who is very clearly talking about the reality of poverty and economic insecurity in Parliament, and even went off on a flotilla to palestine recently. There is a place for the radleft in the Greens, but it is seeking to be a bigger-tent party than JUST the radleft. It’s probably a fair criticism that it’s become a bit too much about liberals and not enough about economic justice.

      I do agree with you though it would be nice to have a more radical left party in Parliament, (it would actually give me a choice of who to vote for!) I think the big issue is that the radical left is pretty spread out among electorates and doesn’t seem to currently command 5% of the vote, thus making it a pretty difficult ask to get into Parliament without Mana winning an electorate or two. The other issue is that identity politics has interfered a bit, with the Internet Party calling to younger voters, and the Mana party calling more to those comfortable with Māori movements, and the Alliance defunct, it’s been difficult to unite the kiwi radleft into a single movement, as every attempt thus far has seemed contrived.

      Don’t disagree at all about the Labour Party though. Ironically, it seems we’d have more luck if we had a splinter party split off Labour and/or the Greens that was more generically radleft.

      • garibaldi 4.3.1

        Agree with you all the way today Matthew. As a Green supporter I am waiting to see what Labour can pull out of the hat (Anne keeps reassuring me that Labour has seen the light) and I am also not convinced about James Shaw. He does not lead from the front like Russell did and it is hard to have full confidence in him.
        So ,yes , it’s starting to look like we need a new Party of the Left.

        • James Shaw was definitely the best choice of all the options for male co-leader. He’s certainly a bit less outspoken than Russel, but he doesn’t have any less commitment to Green values.

          He is from the wing of the party that’s more about Green liberalism than about radical left policies, unlike Meyt, but there’s still a huge amount of agreement between those two wings.

          As long as Meyt’s successor, when she’s ready to step down, is someone equally persistent, and from the more radical-left end of things, I don’t particularly see a problem with Shaw being on the leadership team. Remember, a fair amount of Green support actually comes from soft National voters now, (probably 1-2% of the Party Vote) who see the Greens as a source of much smarter policy, from economics to energy to environment, so it makes a certain amount of sense to include them in the tent by making sure some of the environmental liberals get into caucus, and every now and then they have one of the co-leaders resonate with them like Shaw does. Big-tent strategies are generally good things, so long as the leaders can walk and chew bubble-gum in terms of simultaneously staying true to their core values and executing on big-tent strategy.

    • infused 4.4

      It’s the end of year. Reflection. Little has been rubbish. Labour have performed badly.

      • In Vino 4.4.1

        Correction – media present it that way, and trolls like you mimic the idea. I like to think of you as one who is forming the basis of an irony.

  5. Grantoc 5

    Seems to me its more accurate to say that Labour is on the road to nowhere or on the lost high way. Either way it seems to heading towards oblivion in its current state.

    • BM 5.1

      Yep. I don’t think there’s any coming back, the labour brand has been so trashed over the last nine years, that the voter first thought when labour is mentioned is to roll their eyes and say something negative.

      Long term I think the best option for the left is for the Greens and Labour to join together and become a new party with a new name and new brand.

      Leave all the bad publicity and negative stereotypes behind and start fresh.

      • r0b 5.1.1

        Gosh thanks for your “concern” there BM!

        • BM 5.1.1.1

          You think it’s a bad idea?.
          The left needs to have a 40% party to be taken seriously by the NZ voter, at the moment it’s all look a bit rag tag and unstable.

          Only way that’s going to happen is if Labour merges with the Greens and just like that you’ve got a creditable force and one the voter would probably take a hell of a lot more seriously.

          You would need new leaders though, the current lot are terrible, especially her majesty.

          • chris73 5.1.1.1.1

            I don’t think its all that bad for Labour, I mean it wasn’t that long ago that Helen Clark was being touted as one of the best PMs NZ have ever had (and I won’t argue with that)

            The problem as I see it is that when National got absolutely slam dunked they had a long hard, honest look at what and won re-election two elections later (and very nearly won one election later) whereas Labour seem unwilling to have that same discussion

            Next because of MMP left supporters can fool themselves into thinking that Labours not doing so badly so instead of looking inwardly as to why NZs not listening to Labour they instead look outwards for something/someone to blame

            So really all Labour need to do is have that hard conversation, not the slightly uncomfortable discussion they think thay’ve had, clear the decks, refocus on what they want to achieve and go from there

            • Ross 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Chris, it sounds like you can’t wait to vote Labour. 🙂

            • BM 5.1.1.1.1.2

              I think the issue is that there’s too many big brains who can’t cope with being wrong, every failure just get rationalized out so the blame can be placed some where else and the hard decisions never get made.

              Best thing is to scrap everything and start fresh.

              • Like hell. The right hasn’t “scrapped everything and started fresh” since the Labour Party came into existence and had the Liberal and Reform parties merge.

                I doubt that there is anything to be gained by a formal merger of Labour and the Greens. It actually hurts their chance of winning, in fact, as the allocation formula is more generous to two parties in coalition than it is to one big party.

          • Matthew Whitehead 5.1.1.1.2

            The left doesn’t function as well as a single large unit as the Right does. It would be like us cheekily advising National voters to support ACT or the Conservatives, knowing that the Right does better when unified into a large bloc.

            There’s nothing wrong with the Greens as a brand. They’re as successful as they’ve ever been, the growth is just a bit stalled.

            Labour isn’t having any trouble as a brand either, it’s the refusal to undergo a rejuvenation because it’s full of class-climbing careerists that couldn’t let go of Parliament even if they’re pushed that’s stopping it from getting into the 30-35% range it needs to be in to reliably force National out. In fact, the success of Labour as a brand is probably what’s stopping a lot of the Greens’ growth.

  6. Aye …from a wee Clan Gunn member… all this talk of Labour takin the high road… got me thinkin…

    Did the Bruce win his battle by being diplomatically polite to Henry de Bohun when he bashed out his brains with a battle axe ? … evidently not.

    And if anything, it seems to me that corruption deserves no clemency. To which this govt has been involving itself in ever since it came to power. Therefore ‘ Angry Andrew’ has a job to do . If you ask me , stuff trying to be a grinning idiot like Key. Show them the battleaxe instead and never give them rest.

    And that excuse that ‘ a week in politics is a long time’. Only wimps with no stickability resort to caving in and letting important issues go cold.

    • Wild Katipo – the angry wasp of the night – I support your call.

    • Observer Tokoroa 6.2

      . True Wild Katipo

      . The Key Government has been disastrous for the majority of New Zealanders, Not the wealthy.

      To let the Nationals off for their incompetence would be utterly criminal.

      Apart from the very wealthy – nobody in metropolitan New Zealand can afford to buy a house under the Key / English regime.

      Apart from very high earners everybody Renting in metropolitan New Zealand is struggling. As Key and English have planned.

      National go on about what they are doing to rebuild after earthquakes. But even in that ( – work done by engineers and builders, not by politicians -) they have not made Insurance Companies pay up and fund all the housing rebuilds. After years. National have no intention of getting their mates in Insurance to pay up.

      Then there is the constant feces being fed into our rivers and water resources. National have done nothing to protect our water. National hates the word “Environment”. National stinks to high heaven when it comes to guardianship of our land and water.

      Billy English bringing in 70,000 immigrants a year – but not providing infrastructure! Can a man be so dumb.! A National man can.

      They have of course given money to friends in the Middle East. Given easy runs to friends in Tax havens.

      If Andrew Little and all Labour Caucus do not wield the axe about all this incompetence – then sack Labour. New Zealanders are at stake.

      • Incognito 6.2.1

        Good comments!

        If Andrew Little and all Labour Caucus do not wield the axe about all this incompetence – then sack Labour. New Zealanders are at stake.

        The only people who can “sack” Labour are the same who can “sack” the outgoing Government.

        The evaluation report of this Government is very hard to read but it is clear that there are (too) many ‘pain points’ to gloss over. The thing is that people tend to look no further than their own immediate situation, make important decisions based on emotions (AKA irrational), and don’t really know and don’t want to know how the other half lives – I don’t mean the rich & famous.

  7. Ross 7

    The DomPost have come out in support of Little and Labour.

    Editorial: Labour is moving Right, not Left, and Leggett is no big loss.

    Some of the more naive pundits have swallowed the notion that the deal with the Greens has pulled Labour to the Left. They claim that Labour needs the centre but is now drifting away from its working-class roots.

    This is the self-serving argument of the Wellington mayoral candidate, Nick Leggett, who is switching to National. That switch is absolutely no surprise. Leggett is an ambitious politician and thought he could do well by abandoning Porirua for the much bigger city of Wellington.

    He challenged the Labour candidate, Justin Lester, and lost handily. Leggett’s Right-wing tendencies were already obvious when he was mayor of Porirua. He was clearly no longer an ally of Labour. Now he has joined a party where he more naturally belongs.

    Should Labour be grieving? Not really. Does the departure of Leggett mean Labour has moved suicidally to the Left? No. In fact, under Andrew Little Labour has clearly moved to the Right.

    …Labour’s deal with the Greens will certainly cause stresses and strains. The bigger party will have to do some horse-trading with the smaller one. This will involve electorate deals, Cabinet posts, and some policy issues.

    These deals can’t be avoided, and those on the Right who complain are simply deluding themselves.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/87093213/editorial-labour-is-moving-right-not-left-and-leggett-is-no-big-loss

    • Does it count as supporting Labour if you point out that Labour leadership is a bunch of dirty centrists who force-marching the party further rightward? lol

      • Jenny Kirk 7.1.1

        That was in the past, Matthew Whitehead – Labour is different now.

        All you have to do to understand this, is to read the Party’s Policy Platform . Here’s the link : https://www.labourparty.org.nz/sites/default/files/New%20Zealand%20%20Labour%20Party%20Policy%20Platform.pdf

        or for quickness, read Labour’s Vision here http://www.labour.org.nz/vision

        • I’d disagree, and say the pull of Labour towards the centre is still very much in the present, as it has been with all but one of the leaders after Lange. Left-wing parties are supposed to transform the economy into one that benefits everyone. Labour seems content to tinker around the edges of a fundamentally neoliberal system without any significant reform to deal with issues like increasing automation, offshoring of profits, undertaxation of capital investment, intergenerational theft and child poverty, and wasted expenditure on gatekeeping benefits to appeal to centrist middle-class voters.

          I don’t deny Labour has backed off from being overtly right-wing like they were under Rogernomics. But backing off from being right-wing can still make you a centrist if you don’t react against the past and undo the unwanted right-wing reforms of your opponents as much as you actually need to. The Labour party was very much a bunch of liberal centrists under Clark who undid the worst right-wing policies but were very cautious about taking any policy action that was overtly left-wing. Some of this was no doubt influenced by the fact that they needed NZ First and UF to maintain their numbers for government, but it’s not an excuse that was consistent, as for quite some time Clark had an alternative path of working with the Māori Party and Greens.

          Little seems like a good guy who at least isn’t undoing most of the reasonable reforms Cunliffe started for Labour, (like Sanders, Cunliffe was a bit of a lost opportunity for Labour to turn its direction around) but he’s not acting like enough of a populist to expand their vote. If Labour wants to actually get some of that Green policy into government that it’s so keen on copying years after the fact, they need to make some changes. 😉

          Most of this is likely to just be that as somewhat of a radical, I have a perspective that doesn’t fit inside the modern Labour Party, which seems to now view itself as the home for the average middle-class kiwi, rather than a party for anyone whose income doesn’t come from investments.

          edit: I should clarify that as a millenial I’m actually reacting against the Clark government and its successors more than I am against Rogernomics, lol.

      • Ross 7.1.2

        Matthew

        I personally think references to left, right and centre are silly and don’t explain anything. What’s a centrist? I would have thought it is someone who wants to get elected, just like someone on the left or right! 🙂

        • A centrist is someone who doesn’t have any particular economic ideology, or is content with a status quo somewhere between the “government should meddle a lot” crowd on the left and the “the invisible hand will handle EVERYTHING! Stop interfering” crowd on the extreme right. (not that there really is a moderate right in New Zealand, although arguably Dunne might fit there if you don’t believe he’s a centrist)

          Centrists tend to be more concerned with the interests of the middle class, (ie. equitable income tax cuts, policies that discriminate against beneficiaries in favour of working people, etc…) while right-wing economics aligns with the wealthy, and genuinely left-wing economics considers both workers and those who rely on benefits, with more emphasis on improving the lot of those of us who have it hardest.

          Centrists also tend to find approximately equal value in both social equality and social hierarchy, wheras the left and right value one over the other in that order.

          They’re just labels, I agree, and don’t cover everything, (it’s equally important to understand the differences between liberals, social centrists, and conservatives, and to talk about short-term vs long-term thinking) but that doesn’t make them meaningless.

          • Ross 7.1.2.1.1

            Matthew

            You’re focusing on economics. But politics is about a lot more than economics. That’s why labels such as left, right and centre are essentially meaningless. Donald Trump is supposedly – almost certainly! – on the Right, yet opposes the TPP which Labour (supposedly on the Left) also opposes.

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Well yes, because you were talking about right and left, which are labels on the political-economic spectrum. Likewise, if we’re talking about social policy, there’s liberals and conservatives. (and “social centrists,” if you will. These are sometimes conflated with Right and Left, as frequently leftists are also liberals, and right-wingers are also conservatives, but you can get left-wing conservatives (think Chris Trotter) and right-wing liberals. (Nikki Kaye comes to mind))

              Trump is interesting. He’s about as hard-right and ultra-conservative as you can get, but he’s also a populist, (those three factors describe most authoritarians, so it’s a good general label for him, although you can’t view everything he does through that lens) so he frequently zips into very left-wing rhetoric when it benefits him, somewhat like John Key or Winston Peters in our political idiom. His opposition to the TPP seems to be born out of a pretty extreme anti-globalisation viewpoint- (that is, he has the right opinion on trade deals mostly, but for the wrong reasons) hence a lot of his rhetoric about immigration as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to find he’s not particularly enthusiastic about the UN, either.

              I agree with you politics can be complicated to describe. But that’s a reason to use more labels, not less. 🙂

    • swordfish 7.2

      “The DomPost have come out in support of Little and Labour.”

      Yep … it’s a little known fact that the Dominion Post Editorials have been quite progressive over the last 5 or 6 years. Not only starkly contrasting with the rest of the MSM but also, intriguingly enough, regularly contradicting the opinion pieces of their very own Political Editor, Our Tracy (Watkins).

      Watkins enthusiastic embrace of the Leggett Myth and the Editorial’s repudiation of it being just the latest example.

  8. red-blooded 8

    I’ve just been watching The Nation, only to hear three “commentators” declare that Nick Leggett has done the right thing in hitching himself to the Nats and that “we are seeing the end of the Labour Party” (the opinion of someone called Trish). It’s only a month or two ago that this same programme (and Q+A) was regularly trotting out Leggit as a representative of the left. There doesn’t seem to be any attempt to give a balanced viewpoint. (I’m not surprised, just pissed off.)

    Look, Little and Key aren’t the same sort of guy. That’s OK. Helen Clark wasn’t exactly the smarmy, jokey sort, and people saw her as dour and remote at first. She lost an election before she won three. She won people’s respect by being honest, intellectually rigorous and a good team leader. She appointed good people and also managed to work with others (like Peters) whom she wouldn’t necessarily have chosen. She made the best of what she had.

    Little is a trustworthy, team-oriented guy. He’s got strong values. He doesn’t have to be like Key or (God forbid) Trump. Labour has a core set of values that’s worth respecting and is in it for the long haul.

    • Ross 8.1

      Leggett had a piece in yesterday’s DomPost. I swear John Key wrote it! If Leggett doesn’t get the nomination for Mana after that pile of steaming sycophancy, I’ll never comment on politics again. 🙂

      Leggett admitted that he’d been divorced from Labour years ago. It’s a pity he didn’t publicly declare his true position at the time.

      Here’s a taster of his sycophancy. It’s very impressive.

      My wife, Emily, who is proud of her Maori, Samoan and Pakeha heritage, is a National Party supporter. As we had our first baby a few months ago, we have talked more and more about the kind of country we want for our son. We want Tane to grow up in a proud, diverse  and confident New Zealand. Diversity – of cultures, beliefs and ideas. Open to the world, trading with our neighbours, and offering more and better opportunities for successive generations. 

      Even after eight years as prime minister, John Key’s leadership still feels fresh. He has stabilised and grown the New Zealand economy to enviable levels among other OECD nations; lifted education standards; helped more Kiwis off benefits and into work; and managed the fallout of natural disasters deftly and with compassion.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/87077458/nick-leggett-why-ive-ditched-labour-for-national

      • LOL, man is Leggett terrible. This is what happens when Labour becomes the party of the centre and tries to forget that it’s supposed to have “-left” appended on there somewhere. People can’t connect to a party without honesty and values.

      • save nz 8.1.2

        what a lot of vomit. Good Riddance once again to Leggett. As for him representing the centre. He is not centre, he is right and was in the wrong party.

        As for all the pro globalism stuff, be prepared for more of it from Crosby Textor. Internationally that is what is driving the anger – not so much the internationalism but the poverty, complexity, inequality and loss of rights it produces for most locals.

        Labour need to point out all the inequality that unchecked neoliberalism is creating. Yes there is growth, but it’s because of an earthquake is that good for the people??

        Yes there is still wealth because we were a nation of homeowners who are gradually being driven out of our homes, and farms and businesses and the statistics show it. Inequality is increasing. The biggest losers after the poor are the middle class.

    • TV shows have given up on journalism. You can watch them if you like, but it’s all infotainment at best.

      I think Little could absolutely win this election. He’s just not campaigning in a way that makes it look likely. The entire world is in a populist mood, and Little is acting like a technocrat. The stupid thing is, “Angry Andrew” would likely appeal a lot if he’d let him out. People want a populist who gets that the way the global economy is going is shafting ordinary people, and they want their leaders to share their anger.

    • Jenny Kirk 8.3

      + 100% red-blooded, and what’s more Little can also work with anyone he needs to (including Peters if necessary).

    • Incognito 8.4

      Well said, thank you.

    • mosa 8.5

      Red Blooded dont watch The Nation its tripe and just another National party propaganda outlet which spews anti left opinions that they think are somehow important and watching it just encourages them if they think they have an audience.

      Totally agree with the points you make and i have made some comments on this post about where i think Little needs to improve other than that a lot of work has gone in behind the scenes with unity and policy and discipline, which the media loves to exploit when they think there is none.

      Lets hope he can be that “Angry Andy” and really get stuck in to these bastards.

    • infused 8.6

      Helen was smart, kept her cool, and shot anyone out of line. Compare that to Little.

      • mosa 8.6.1

        Little is clever and a good operator and Helen could fire up when necessary.

        I have no doubt that if anyone is out of line they are dealt with swiftly.

        Helen was one of the best but it took a hell of a long time to get there and like her Little is focused and determined.

        Andrew is better than the shyster we have now.

  9. DH 9

    The Tracy Watkins article sums it up for me. She’s reporting on what I assume was a private meeting. Now either her reporting is truthful or it’s fiction and those present at the meeting will know which.

    It true then one could deduce there’s still a filthy narc (or more) passing secrets to the enemy and Labour needs to rid itself of the treasonous swine once and for all. If false then someone needs to start laying complaints with the BSA and putting the heat on over these made up stories.

    It’s unfathomable to me that any Labour politician would give that kind of information to what is clearly a hostile media. Why would they tell tales like that?

    • Because Labour is full of amoral climbers who all want to be leader next?

      • red-blooded 9.1.1

        Actually, Matthew, I doubt that it’s been much fun being the Labour leader in recent times, and if Labour were to change leader again any time soon the new person at the helm would have a really tough job. They’d be mocked and undermined by the media, for starters. I think people who take on leadership roles in tough times are often motivated more by a sense of service than self-glorification. One thing i admire about Little is that he’s kept his focus and has put real effort into team-building and policy review, not just into self-promotion and media. Of course, he does need to get out there and promote his message, but he needed a united team first and I think he’s done a good job of creating that.

        DH, the Watkins article is full of supposition. If she had solid sources, she’d be saying that.

        • I don’t disagree with you, and think given Cunliffe’s impending retirement from Parliament, Little is the best choice for leader. That comment is more about the tendency of certain senior MPs to be more interested with being king of the hill than they are with actually winning bloody elections, and they should cut it out and stop sabotaging the country by letting the Nats win.

        • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1.2

          I concur with that red- blooded.

          We all want to see the arse end of the diminutive little grinning idiot from Wall Street , … weve all endured 8 long years of his malfeasance – that and with the amount of lies he speaks its a wonder his nose hasnt grown down his legs , up between his cheeks and pokin out again through his mouth – but the truth is we need to be patient.

          Personally I couldn’t care less if we had a ‘ dour’ leader. I couldn’t give a rats backside if they didn’t feel the compulsion to dance on the tabletops like the current idiot does to grab media attention every five minutes.

          We dont need an identity politics leader. We dont need a politically correct one either, – what we do need is a sensible, stable leader capable of making decisions based on the welfare of the citizens of this country. Not just a few of them who already are well off – but those battlers and their family’s ( to which there are now multitudes under this so- called ‘ brighter future’ bullshit ) who are feeling the strain of day to day costs of living for them and their family’s.

          We need a leader who will deal with the bread and butter issues that affect far too many under this current negligent govt.

          We need a leader who doesn’t try to advance the interests of foreigners before locals , a leader who doesn’t pander to the interests of foreign govts over our sovereign laws, .. and more to the point, one who will curb this out of control , reckless , cancerous neo liberalism that has gutted this nation.

          Thats the sort of leader we need now.

          And NOT the moron with the elongated nose problem .

  10. save nz 10

    I think Labour don’t need to use dirty politics – but pointing out the truth about what is going on in this country, in particular John Key’s lies ,when the MSM will not, needs to be said.

    How else is joe public going to know?

    Labour need to get away from so much self flagellation, and then turn the mirror onto the Natz performance. Yep Labour fucked up big time, we all know, now move on move on and focus on the here and now problem, how the hell to rid ourselves of these parasite Natz sucking the economy and society dry.

    They need to highlight what could happen if the Natz get free reign over our country for another 3 years. That would scare me enough to vote!!

    Personally feel a bonus is a big radical policy to talk about – referendum on UBI funded by transaction tax and robin hood tax.

    Any talk of housing brings them down. It’s not Andrew Little or Labour, it’s housing talk. Yes housing is a major problem but there is not an easy solution because there is a range of factors from immigration to more regulation, less regulation, building prices and taxes, that will not haemorrhage votes. The best thing is to turn it back to the Natz and say – WTF did you do???

    • I think also the media confuses “dirty politics” with “attack politics.” Labour needs some attack politics to win, as Key is increasingly becoming a controversial character rather than a unifying one, and most of his core policies are deeply unpopular.

      It’s not dirty to point out things your opponents are genuinely doing things wrong. That’s fair play, it’s just offensive rather than defensive or constructive. The electorate likes a well-founded attack from time to time because they want their leader to look like a winner, it just can’t be the only thing a leader does well.

      By contrast, dirty politics is actual unethical behaviour, which Labour has largely avoided, unless you count the leadership coups.

      • Craig H 10.1.1

        Excellent distinction between attack politics and dirty politics.

      • Incognito 10.1.2

        By contrast, dirty politics is actual unethical behaviour, which Labour has largely avoided, unless you count the leadership coups.

        No, I don’t count those because they were internal and directed inwards. Unless you’re suggesting that this somehow unavoidably leads to DP …

        • Nope, just staving off trolls from saying “but what about backstabbing of Cunliffe,” etc…

          It’s a real stretch to call even that “dirty politics.” It’s more like “stupid politics.” We’ve known for a long time that unethical campaign behaviour is generally concentrated in a single party, and I’m not talking about Labour.

          • Incognito 10.1.2.1.1

            🙂

            It is “dirty” alright until it gets exposed for what it is and then it becomes “stupid”. In fact, getting caught or not seems to be some kind of ‘ethical benchmark’ for some; as long as nobody gets convicted of a crime it is all “pretty legal” and thus o.k.

  11. That Tracy Watkins article is abysmal – this is the sort of shit she is writing

    “Even the Kaikoura earthquakes are on National’s side.

    They are a reminder to voters of the best of this Government. Its response to disaster is well honed. Victims are looked after, businesses are supported. The prime minister, and his senior Cabinet ministers, are everywhere.

    Excuses, excuses. They are cold comfort to an MP whose CV can only boast a career in opposition.

    So the Left’s search for lessons in the Trump victory is understandable.”

    Really there is zero point reading this propaganda – it is designed to incite, and to dismiss, and to create hopelessness and all dressed up as ‘opinion’.

    as for labour – the desperation will kick in eventually and when it does it will already be too late. I’d say go left, I’d say go home to your base, your core, your history, your roots – but just a waste of time to say all that in this post truth, post left, post caring world.

  12. mosa 12

    Andrew Little is great at speaking at conferences and groups but put a camera and a tv presenter in front of him and he flops and loses confidence.

    He has to improve his performance here and get some training and be exact and on point with some humorous sound bites thrown in.

    His media time allocation unless its a negative attack story is painfully short so he needs to use that time to make an impression on the viewing public thats positive and remembered.

    • garibaldi 12.1

      And so we go round and round in circles. Lots of great comments here today but all to no avail because of our bloody useless media and an extremely well funded National Party with its Dirty Tricks brigade. We ( well, Nicky) exposed them last election and look what happened.
      I’m afraid it is going to take something big to derail National because at the moment they’ve got it all rigged.

      • Wayne 12.1.1

        “Look what happened.” Mostly because Internet Mana and the stunt involving Snowden et al was seen by many voters as a bigger dirty trick.

        No, National has not got it rigged. Voters (at least going by the polls) are making their own judgements, as is one particular voter, Nick Leggett.

        • garibaldi 12.1.1.1

          Snowden totally exposed Key and it didn’t make any difference at all.
          The all out drive against Internet – Mana and the “Labour does it too” meme were not coincidents.
          When I say ‘rigged’ I mean planned. The media will be used to deride the Left come hell or high water and shower the corporate Nat Party world with accolades about how great the economy is (when it actually isn’t). Chuck in a miserable tax cut for low earners(but heaven forbid don’t help those low life benes) but a nice windfall for the rich. Bingo. You don’t even need Crosby -Textor .
          “Voters are making their own judgements “. Bullshit, voters are parroting the media (see BM above. The majority don’t do politics).

        • Incognito 12.1.1.2

          Leggett has got skin in the game. Enough said.

      • infused 12.1.2

        lol. got it all rigged. idiot. you need to realise how bad labour is performing, then it might get through to you.

        when national fucks up, the media are all over them. just look at the housing ‘crisis’, people sleeping in cars etc. Labour made zero traction on this. It was story after story after story smashing national.

      • The lost sheep 12.1.3

        ‘We ( well, Nicky) exposed them last election and look what happened.

        What happened was saturation coverage of ‘Dirty Politics’ by the MSM in the weeks leading up to the election campaign.
        Now if you were correct, and the media was ‘rigged’ – wouldn’t they have buried that story?
        And if the MSM is what determines how people vote – then wouldn’t all that coverage have fatally damaged National?

        • garibaldi 12.1.3.1

          They did bury it. “Labour does it too” ad infinitum. Total derision and attacking of Nicky Hager and refusal to accept the truth of the exposure.

          • The lost sheep 12.1.3.1.1

            That sounds like the commenters on Whaleoil to me.
            Thought we were talking about MSM?

            On a quick search these are the first 2 MSM articles I found.
            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10476532/Fight-dirty-politics-with-free-speech-Hager
            http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/253410/dirty-politics-warnings-for-the-media

            Neither of them conform at all to your statement.
            When i followed further links in the search it did confirm my memory that the MSM did in fact report ‘Dirty politics’ very thoroughly and from all sides.

            Can you give me some links to MSM articles that illustrate how you say it was reported?

            • In Vino 12.1.3.1.1.1

              Liar. The media reported huge (but false) donations to the Labour Party by a Chinese man who wanted citizenship – gave huge publicity to an 11-yr-old form letter in order to discredit Cunliffe, gave headlines to a story about a $1000 bottle of wine that never existed, never made a headline retraction of that vile lie… Can you refute that?

              • The lost sheep

                I can recall a story about The Labour Party being Offered donations from Chinese, but turning them down…and a story about Donghua Liu claiming he’d spent 100K on a bottle of wine at a Labour fundraiser…but from memory, it was clear Labour denied those claims?

                Show me it was reported differently?

                Not that it matters. This whole ‘media bias’ thing is conspiracy theory anecdotal confirmation bias bullshit.

                Anything to keep you from looking the reality in the eye.

                • In Vino

                  Yes, but the false accusations were in big headline stories, but the Labour denials were little bits on pg. 16 if publicised at all.

  13. Neil 13

    & where is Patrick Gower? he is very quiet on by-election

  14. The Chairman 14

    After Leggett resigned from the Labour Party and stood in Wellington against a Labour candidate, Little called him a right-winger.

    Not long afterward Little said former Porirua mayor Nick Leggett would be welcomed back into the Labour fold as someone with a “big future ahead of him”

    Why the hell would Labour welcome back this right-winger?

    After extending that olive-branch it seems Leggett left Little and Labour with egg on their face. He’s gone and joined National.

    Perhaps Labour won’t be so accommodating towards the right in the future.

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  • Tax refund season ends near $600 million
    Almost $600 million has been paid into taxpayers’ bank accounts in the past two months, after the first season of automatic tax assessments. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says the completion of this year’s tax refund season is a significant milestone. “The ability of Inland Revenue to run auto calculations for ...
    3 weeks ago